Identification of potential crucial genes in atrial fibrillation: a bioinformatic analysis
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BACKGROUND: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is at least partially heritable, affecting 2-3% of the population in Europe and the USA. However, a substantial proportion of heritability is still lacking. In the present study, we aim to identify potential crucial genes associated with AF through bioinformatic analyses of public datasets. METHODS: Microarray data sets of GSE115574, GSE31821, GSE79768, GSE41177 and GSE14975 from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database were retrieved. After merging all microarray data and adjusting batch effect, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified. Functional enrichment analyses based on Gene Ontology (GO) resource, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) resource, Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA), Reactome Pathway Database and Disease Ontology (DO) were carried out. Protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed using the STRING database. Combined with aforementioned significant bioinformatics information, potential crucial genes were subsequently selected. The comparative toxicogenomics database (CTD) was used to explore the interaction between potential crucial genes and AF. RESULT: We identified 27 of DEGs with gene expression fold change (FC) ≥ 1.5 or ≤ 2/3 (|log2 FC| ≥ 0.58) and 5 with FC ≥ 2 or ≤ 0.5 (|log2 FC| ≥ 1) of AF patients compared with sinus rhythm controls. The most significantly enriched pathway was regulation of insulin-like growth factor transport and uptake by insulin-like growth factor binding proteins. IGFBP2, C1orf105, FHL2, CHGB, ATP1B4, IGFBP3, SLC26A9, CXCR4 and HTR2B were considered the potential crucial genes. CTD showed CXCR4, IGFBP2, IGFBP3 and FHL2 had higher scores with AF. CONCLUSIONS: The 9 potential crucial genes, especially CXCR4, IGFBP2, IGFBP3 and FHL2, may be associated with risk of AF. Our study provided new insights of AF into genetics, molecular pathogenesis and new therapeutic targets.
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